The leadership of the Methodist Church Nigeria have commended Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for securing and safeguarding the present and future of the citizens in the state.
The church also extolled Aregbesola’s leadership skills displayed in promoting religious harmony, peace and unity across religious divides.
The Archbishop, Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Amos Akindeko, made the statement at the special prayers annually organised in honour of the Governor and the prosperity of the state and her citizens.
Akindeko, who led other men of God to Osun Government House, Oke-Fia in Osogbo, said the Church identified with the Governor, having seen the wonders his administration has recorded and was still making in all sectors.
The cleric whose district covers seven dioceses in Osun, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara and Niger States affirmed that the leadership of the Church was aware of the development the Aregbesola administration has made, particularly on roads, education, and security.
According to him, “we are happy to be here this year. I was personally here in 2015 and the leadership of the Church has been coming every New Year like this to pray for the state.
“To us as Methodist Church Nigeria, we are very happy to associate with Aregbesola, not just because he is the governor but because he has a clear vision on how to develop the state. We have seen in him, a patriot, democrat, nationalist and crusader of good governance, the virtues he had clearly demonstrated in the course of administering the state about eight years ago.
“We have seen that the state under his watch has made landmark achievements in the last seven years, particularly in the areas of education, security, health and infrastructure.
“As a religious organisation, it is our duty to pray and support those in the positions of authority, according to the teaching of our faith, and we are indeed happy that our Governor has not disappointed us, but rather making us proud”, Akindeko maintained.
The clergyman assured Aregbesola of the Church’s solidarity and support, saying, “We believe in you and your leadership; that is why we are solidly behind you.
He added, “We have a clear and divine mandate to support you. We have strong belief in you and your leadership to move Osun and Nigeria forward as we are ready to support you with prayers. We won’t be part of those distracting you and your government but rather join hands to ensure that you end well as you started well”.
Also, the Lay President, Ilesa Diocese of Methodist Church Nigeria, Festus Olusuji Morakinyo applauded Aregbesola’s interventions in all sectors.
He said, “Our Governor has created enabling environment to advance Osun to greater heights. We are proud to have you as our Governor as your tenure has brought tremendous change.
“Moving around the state will expose one to various achievements which your government has made. I was travelling yesterday and I saw the pace of infrastructure development your government has brought to Osun.
“The serenity, the peace and sophistication of the road constructed and still constructing are superb. I can say you have done excellently well, you have constructed good, smooth road which I believe will endure for long, after your tenure.
“I minister in Ilesa, and we appreciate your projects, particularly Ilesa Government High School which is fanciful and beautiful; and we have seen the difference between Ilesa Grammar School of old and its transformation to Ilesa Government High School with all you have done.
“I have never seen schools as big as your schools. They are very beautiful and beyond what anyone can fault or compete with, even the private schools. You have never failed in all your projects. You have been sincere about your promises. We have the gigantic building across the state as schools and we also have good roads across the length and breadth of the state.
“We appreciate your sense of understanding to the workers’ plight, particularly the recent approval of all the requests made by the labour unions in the state and the extension of N1billion to pensioners. We commend your security intervention. You have bought gadgets for our security. You have taken seriously the security of our people; we can now sleep conveniently with our eyes closed.
“I see you as a revolutionary. Please don’t be distracted. The drive in you is so much that people envy you, but I want you to maintain your good intention to the people of the state because we knew that you have seen the future”, he added.
In his remarks, Governor Aregbesola expressed gratitude to the leadership of the Church for being supportive of his administration. He described Methodist Church Nigeria as one of the religious groups that have openly and consistently identified with his government through thick and thin.
According to him, “Your church has in the last few years demonstrated genuine love and loyalty to our administration through prayers and fasting. Even when it was difficult, you identified with us, you didn’t leave us as you have dedicated prayers for the success of our administration particularly the annual prayers you have made compulsory.
“Though we have spent seven years but our dream is far from what we have been able to achieve, in spite all we have done, hence the needs to collaborate with religious organisations like you for more prayers.
“As much as we commend your denomination for being supportive to our administration, we equally demand for more prayers as we are looking forward to record many other giant strides within the remaining months”, Aregbesola noted.
He therefore urged the leadership of the church not to relent in their prayers and fasting for the growth and development of the state.